2955: Pole Vault

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
Pole Vault
Ugh, and we JUST went through this yesterday with javelin.
Title text: Ugh, and we JUST went through this yesterday with javelin.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a LONG POKEY STICK - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

In the comic, Cueball is making a run as part of a pole vault competition. However, when he tries to plant the pole to make the jump, the tip pierces the surface of the Earth, causing it to pop and violently deflate, like a balloon.

This does not normally happen during a pole vault,[citation needed] but the title text suggests that the same recently happened during a javelin competition, presumably when one of the spears pierced the surface in a similar manner to Cueball's pole. No explanation is provided for how the Earth was patched or re-inflated, but apparently the problem was solved in a single day, without needing to cancel the event, suggesting that this is a normal occurrence.

The comic may be inspired by the upcoming Paris Olympics, and the geographical location of the burst is indeed somewhere in the European continent. The view of the ragged and deflating Earth suggests the possible epicenter of the burst has more of a vague relationship with that area than it might to Randall's own location in the US (the other 'logical' definite setting he might use). The comic precedes any of the actual official competitions (or indeed the official Opening Ceremony) by three weeks, but perhaps this event (and the javelin one) occurred at one or other of the attending nations' training camps, or national trials for a local athletics squad, already established in the general region. Alternatively, this is simply depicting future events.

Three comics before this one Randall released 2952: Routine Maintenance, where the Earth is being subject to a routine maintenance by pushing the tip of a high pressure canister into Earth and blowing air into Earth to expel debris from inside Earth's volcanoes. That idea seems to be similar, but opposite to the one from this comic, in that here the Earth is a soft stretchable surface enclosing a pressurised gaseous interior, whereas in the previous comic it was a hard shell with gas filled cavities open to the exterior. With so few days between the releases there might have been some similar thoughts behind the creation of both.


[Cueball is holding a pole vaulting stick up into the air while running.]
[Cueball puts the tip of the pole to the ground, making it bend, and causing damage to the ground as indicated with four small lines both above and below the ground where the tip touches it.]
[In a frame-less panel a big white word is shown inside a black blast bubble:]
[In a black panel a white drawing shows that the Earth has burst, seemingly around Europe, and is now flying through space like a deflating balloon. A curving path is left behind indicating the path the Earth took, maybe indicating the matter (or air) expelled from the burst Earth. The part of the surface visible on the deflating Earth shows most of Asia and Australia and at the far left the eastern edge of Africa.]

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


The contrast/similarity with the conceipt of 2952: Routine Maintenance is fairly clear, which might mean a similar train of thought inspired it, but I chose instead to append the suggestion that Randall was inspired by the upcoming Olympics, based upon close observation of the 'pop-zone' on the whole-Earth view. But the other link maybe could be said (instead?) if someone wants to write an appropriate paragraph. 11:30, 6 July 2024 (UTC)

"This does not normally happen during a pole vault,[citation needed]". LOL @ "citation needed" 13:23, 6 July 2024 (UTC)

How do you cite a negative? Barmar (talk) 13:56, 6 July 2024 (UTC)
<etic>...</etic> 17:38, 6 July 2024 (UTC)
list of all pole vaults, including data on how many resulted in the earth popping 15:53, 8 July 2024 (UTC)
this smbc comic contains an example of citing a negative! 15:57, 8 July 2024 (UTC)

Just a thought - the shape of what's left made me think of a Prince Rupert's drop. 21:22, 6 July 2024 (UTC)

Am I the only one reminded of Men without Hats: Pop Goes The World? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zUUtf7gOe8 Tier666 (talk) 07:50, 7 July 2024 (UTC)